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 Research Topics    |    Major Focus Areas    |    Reports
Major Focus Areas
Health and Human Services Department of Defense Veterans Affairs Health and Human Services Gulf War Information Department of Defense Gulf War Information Veterans Affairs Gulf War Information Home Home Advanced Search Glossary FAQs Site Map Contact Us
 Research Topics    |    Major Focus Areas    |    Reports
Major Focus Areas

Biological Warfare Agents
CARC Paint
Chemical Warfare Agents
Depleted Uranium, DU
Oil Well Fires
Pesticides
Pyridostigmine Bromide, PB
Reproductive Health
Stress
Undiagnosed Illnesses
Vaccines
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Veterans Affairs
Department of Veterans Affairs

VA Annual Report to Congress
Progress and status of federal research activities are published in Annual Reports to Congress.

ANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS

The Gulf War Veterans� Illnesses research portfolio currently includes 224 projects. These 224 Federal research projects are sponsored by the Departments of Defense (DoD), Health and Human Services (HHS), and Veterans Affairs (VA). The scope of the portfolio is broad, from small-scale pilot studies to large-scale epidemiology studies involving large populations and major research programs. Currently, the Federal Government is projecting cumulative expenditures of $212.6 million for research from FY 1994 through FY 2002. As of September 30, 2001, 124 projects were completed (55% of total), and 100 projects were ongoing. It is expected that, as of September 30, 2002, 159 projects will be completed (71% of the total) and 65 projects will be ongoing. The overall emphasis has been greatest in the focus areas of Symptoms and General Health Status, and Brain and Nervous System Function.

VA originally carried out its research through the auspices of the Persian Gulf Veterans Coordinating Board Research Working Group. The PGVCB Research Working Group assessed the state and direction of research, and encouraged and promoted appropriate peer review and oversight of research conducted and sponsored by the federal government. Research Working Group membership consisted of research scientists and managers from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Health and Human Services. By drawing together the three departments, the Research Working Group was able to develop an overall research strategy, serve as a common forum for researchers to present ideas and findings, and collectively respond to emerging research issues and problems. In 2000, the PGVCB transitioned to the Military and Veterans� Health Coordinating Board, which continued to sponsor the Research Working Group.

Each year, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs is required to submit to the Senate and House Veterans� Affairs Committees an annual report on the results, status, and priorities of federal research into the health consequences of military service in the Gulf War. This report includes research sponsored by VA, the Department of Defense and Health and Human Services. The Annual Report to Congress, Federally Sponsored Research on Gulf War Veterans� Illnesses for 2001, published by the Department of Veterans Affairs in March 2002, is the eighth of these reports.

In 1995, the Research Working Group of the PGVCB identified 19 major research questions related to illnesses in Gulf War veterans. In 1996 two more questions were added and all 21 questions were published in A Working Plan for Research on Persian Gulf Veterans� Illnesses, First Revision (PGVCB, 1996).

By 2001, the comprehensive Gulf War research portfolio had addressed 21 questions and relevant results had been published. A summary of the progress made in answering these questions was published as part of The Annual Report to Congress, Federally Sponsored Research on Gulf War Veterans� Illnesses for 2000.

In 2002, the Military and Veterans Health Coordinating Board was discontinued. At this time, the future mechanism for inter-agency coordination on research on illnesses in Gulf War veterans has yet to be determined.

GULF WAR VETERANS´ HEALTH

Medical Research

The Department of Veterans Affairs Gulf War Veterans� Health Web site provides information on health issues for veterans who served in the Gulf War. The VA site features current and back issues of VA�s Gulf War Review, a list of resources where Gulf War veterans can get help, and answers to frequently asked questions about unexplained illnesses among Gulf War veterans. These publications can be searched by key-word for information on specific health concerns, Gulf War environmental exposures, Gulf War veteran compensation policy and research on Gulf War health or other specific Gulf War activities.

VA Persian Gulf Registry

After the Gulf War, Department of Veterans Affairs medical care personnel became concerned about potential health problems of U.S. service members exposed to oil fire smoke. Consequently, VA developed a proposal to create a clinical registry of Gulf War veterans to evaluate health problems they were experiencing and to provide better health care for returning troops. In 1992 the VA Gulf War Health Examination Registry was established. In 1995 VA expanded the program, renaming it the VA Persian Gulf (Health) Registry. In addition to basic tests, physicians are able to order tests and consultations as needed to arrive at a diagnosis for each veteran. VA provides expanded testing if a Gulf War veteran�s symptoms remain unexplained after an initial examination. You can find out more about the VA Persian Gulf Registry, including how to register, by calling 1-800-749-8387.

VA Gulf War Veterans Information

Gulf War veterans who need assistance in locating their nearest VA Medical Center or who have general health questions regarding Gulf service may call 1-800-PGW-VETS.